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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

The Book Is at the Printer!

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, March 20, 2005

The book is at the printer!

Sandy Day and I have been working on a new book about Steubenville, and after several rewrites, a revised layout planner, and proofreading on top of proofreading, it is now finished and at the printer.

Sandy is the Local History/Genealogy Librarian for the library system, and we co-edited the Steubenville Bicentennial Book in 1997.

We were approached by Arcadia Publishing Co., of Chicago to co-author a photo history of Steubenville.  It would take a lot of work, and neither one of us had worked with an editor for a book publishing firm like Arcadia. Sandy and I are glad we accepted the challenge.  The book has turned out to be a great publication, and we hope will be enjoyed by area residents. Any royalties from the sales of the book will be paid to the library system.

Arcadia Publishing Co. has been producing its "Images of America" series for more than a decade.  The series concentrates on small American cities, or neighborhoods of large cities, in a specific format and style for publication.

They review the area; do a marketing analysis to determine if such a book would have successful sales in the area to decide if Arcadia wishes to take the financial risk of publication. A book about Steubenville passed the review, and we were permitted to proceed with the work. The book has nine chapters and 128 pages with 202 photographs, all with extensive captions.

Sandy and I divided the workload and began assembling the photos and researching the captions, which become the text of the book. Periodically, Sandy and I would gather and compare notes.  We would share research, compare our ideas for the book, and come to a conclusion for the final product.The most time-consuming part of the book was the "Layout Planner" which assembles the parts of the book into the format.

Photographs are labeled by size: small landscape, large landscape, small portrait, and large portrait.  This refers to the size and shape of the photo, not whether there is "landscaping" in the photo. The importance of the photo size relates to the layout in the book, and how many photos will fit on a page, and in what format.

We worked with Editor Melissa Basilone at Arcadia Publishing Co.  She reviewed all of our work and sent her comments to us for changes. Her goal was to produce a book that would be understandable to anyone reading it.  She recommended changes to the text to clarify the message. In the end, it was a good working relationship that benefited the final edition of the book.

The biggest discussion was the selection of a cover photo for the book.  Arcadia wanted a photo that would interest the potential book buyer.  We kept suggesting standard photos of area attractions. The decision was to use a photo of the 1897 Steubenville Centennial Parade with an eye-catching scene of school children marching down Market Street in a line. It makes an attracting scene, wanting the reader to open the book and find out more information.

Sandy and I hope that you will enjoy this new book when it is released for sale this summer.  It will make a great gift for former residents of the area. Sandy and I also hope we can interest Arcadia in doing a companion book about Jefferson County in the future.